Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vegetable and Fish Tempura with Miso Dressing

Tempura was introduced to the Japanese during the sixteenth century by Portuguese Jesuit missionaries along with the deep-frying technique. 
Since Goa was a Portuguese colony in India, the Portuguese could have picked up the batter technique used in making pakoras, an Indian savory fritters from the Indians. 

To make a light and airy tempura batter I used very cold white beer (or sparking water) with low gluten flour, cake flour. Along with a cold beer, I used a bowl inside a larger bowl  of ice to mix the batter. Whisk the batter for just a few seconds to combine, retaining the lumps in the tempura batter. This produces a crispy and airy texture. 
The best way to enjoy tempura is immediately after frying, sprinkled with sea salt and served with tentsuyu which is made of bonito-based stock (dashi), soy sauce and mirin. Grated daikon, which helps to digest oily foods, is often added to the sauce.

For a variation I made a miso dressing to serve with the tempura. 

When frying tempura, scoop out between batches of tempura the crunchy bits of fried flour-batter known as tenkasu to add to your noodle soups, salads or to your vegetable stir fries to add some crunch.

To make the batter:
1 scant cup of cake flour
1 cup of cold white beer
1 egg


Whisk the egg and beer until foamy. Then whisk in the flour for only a few seconds. Do not over mix.

Put the batter bowl inside a larger bowl with ice.

You can use this tempura batter to fry seafood, zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, sweet potato, asparagus etc....

Miso Dressing:

3 Tbsp white miso paste
3 tsp Dijon  mustard
2 Tbsp dashi stock
2 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp fresh ground ginger
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil


Whisk the miso, mustard, mirin, vinegar, ground ginger until well combine. Then add the oils slowly and whisk until well incorporated.
Adjust the consistency of the dip with a little water if too thick.